The two former students were sentenced to probation for their roles in an attack last year on a Penn State freshman who was pledging to join Omega Essence, a “little sisters” group affiliated with an unrecognized fraternity at the university, Omega Psi Phi. The victim was punched, slapped, and kicked, and ended up bloodied and injured. A third participant in the hazing, a member of the fraternity said to have been the ringleader, was convicted last week.
The University of Wisconsin at Green Bay will retain its head men’s basketball coach, Brian Wardle, after an independent investigation into accusations that he mistreated at least one former player, according to the Green Bay Press-Gazette.
The inquiry began last month, after Green Bay’s chancellor received a complaint from the parents of one of Mr. Wardle’s former players, Ryan Bross. That complaint accused Mr. Wardle of forcing an ill Mr. Bross to continue running a workout drill until the player couldn’t control his bowels, and then ridiculing the player for defecating in his shorts. It also alleged that Mr. Wardle told the player he would improve if he had sex with a girl he was interested in dating.
The ensuing investigation, conducted by a local lawyer, “concluded that a good deal of what was alleged did not occur as it was stated in the complaints I received in April,” said Thomas K. Harden, the Green Bay chancellor, in a written statement.
In a report on his findings, the lawyer, Joseph M. Nicks, said the investigation had involved interviews with 25 witnesses.
Mr. Harden’s statement said that Mr. Wardle would be allowed to continue as the coach of the Phoenix, though his contract would not be extended this year (his current one expires in 2017). Mr. Harden said any future extensions would be reviewed on an annual basis. The university will also place a disciplinary letter about Mr. Wardle’s use of vulgar language in the coach’s personnel file, assign him an adviser for the 2013-14 season, and require him to be more involved in campus activities, “to better understand the broader university environment,” according to Mr. Harden’s statement.
In a statement provided to the newspaper through his lawyer, Mr. Wardle said that he was happy the investigation had been completed and that he accepted the university’s decision.
Sen. Tom Harkin of Iowa will donate his papers from nearly four decades in Congress to Drake University, after earlier this year abandoning plans to give the documents to a research institute bearing his name at Iowa State University, his alma mater, according to the Des Moines Register.
Drake, a private university, announced on Friday that it had established a center called the Tom Harkin Institute for Public Policy and Citizen Engagement in connection with Mr. Harkin’s gift.
Mr. Harkin’s namesake institute at Iowa State was the subject of much controversy, with Iowa Republicans objecting to the notion of honoring a sitting politician. In February, Mr. Harkin said he would not give the papers to Iowa State, after taking issue with research restrictions that had been placed on the institute bearing his name. Those restrictions were loosened, the Register reported, but Mr. Harkin still decided to withhold the gift.
In a news release, David E. Maxwell, Drake’s president, hailed the gift as a boon to teaching and research at his university, saying the new resources would “significantly enhance our ability to fulfill the university’s social compact.” The university pledged that the new institute and archive would be nonpartisan.
Mr. Harkin said in January that he would not seek re-election in 2014.
Wilson College has released details of an unusual debt-buyback offer that is one of the keys to a plan its trustees adopted in January in an effort to attract more students and keep the tiny Pennsylvania liberal-arts institution in business. Under the offer, the college will pay back up to $10,000 of a student’s federal Stafford student-loan indebtedness if the student earns a degree at Wilson within four years, participates in new financial-literacy programs the college will offer, and takes part in “activities and community services that would benefit the Wilson College community.”
How much the college will pay will be determined by the student’s grade-point average: $5,000 for students with a GPA of 3.5 to 3.69; $7,500 for a GPA of 3.7 to 3.89; and the full $10,000 for a 3.9 and higher.
Wilson administrators are also reducing its tuition by $5,000, to $23,745 in the 2014-15 academic year, after concluding that its sticker price was too high for the value the institution could offer. The loan-buyback plan and lower tuition were results of a months-long self-study that also prompted a controversial decision to admit men to Wilson’s traditional undergraduate program for the first time.
College officials say that the loan-buyback offer is among the first of its kind in higher education, and that it will cost the institution up to $100,000 a year, which it expects to cover by attracting more students. “It’s a proverbial win-win—for both students and the college,” said Wilson’s president, Barbara K. Mistick, in a written statement. “We are very hopeful that students and parents will see the value in our debt-buyback plan and take advantage of it.”
Nick Ferre lost his job as president of the Associated Students of the University of Utah following a trial on Wednesday because his grade-point average had dropped below 2.5, the minimum required to hold the office. That standard is part of the organization’s constitution, known as the “red book.” Mr. Ferre argued that some of his grades were in dispute, and said an accelerated course he’s scheduled to finish next month could raise his GPA. But 12 members voted to impeach him, with one voting against the move and one abstaining. The impeachment was the first in the group’s history.
The University of Wisconsin at Madison is seeking to keep information about research from the public until it is published or patented, arguing that a research exemption to the state’s open-records law would allow the university to remain on equal footing with its competitors, according to the Journal-Sentinel, a Milwaukee newspaper.
The paper obtained a copy of language for a possible motion that is being circulated among lawmakers in the statehouse. University officials have been trying to persuade legislators to advance the motion either by slipping it into the state budget or by moving forward with a separate bill.
The document warns that the premature disclosure of research-related information could jeopardize patent applications and hinder efforts to bring new inventions to the market. The university also noted that it is spending more than $100,000 a year responding to open-records requests from animal-rights groups, saying it could recover only a fraction of those costs.
The proposed change was prompted by a major overhaul of U.S. patent law, which involved a shift to a “first to file” standard. When that reform was being debated, some higher-education officials raised concerns that the change would put undue pressure on academic inventors to publish their findings quickly. A Wisconsin group was among the opponents of the change.
William W. Barker, director of the university’s Office of Industrial Partnerships, told the Journal-Sentinel that the institution wasn’t “trying to hide anything from anybody,” and said the university had to stay competitive.
A spokesman for Gov. Scott Walker declined to comment to the newspaper about the university’s push for an exemption from the law.
The administration of the College of the Mainland, a two-year institution in Texas City, Tex., is recommending that a tenured professor who has clashed repeatedly with its leaders be fired, according to the The Daily News, in Galveston, Tex.
David M. Smith, a professor of political science and president of the college’s employee union, has criticized the college’s administration and has fought with the institution in court over what he said were violations of his First Amendment right to free speech. The college awarded him tenure a decade ago despite the objections of some local residents, who took issue with his self-described Marxist views.
The college’s president, Beth Lewis, told the newspaper that the recommendation to terminate Mr. Smith stemmed from his performance as an employee, and was not an attempt at retaliation, though she did not discuss the details of the recommendation.
Mr. Smith said the paperwork informing him of his termination, which must be approved by the college’s board in order to take effect, contained no mention of his teaching or job duties. But he said there was mention of e-mails he wrote concerning employees’ rights during elections. Ms. Lewis said Mr. Smith has the right to address the college’s board before it takes action on the recommendation and to ask for an extension.
The University of Minnesota at Duluth has fired its wellness director, Rod Raymond, after several years of conflict marked by accusations that Mr. Raymond sexually harassed two students. The university first disciplined Mr. Raymond in 2009, after the students lodged sexual-harassment complaints against him. Last year, records showed that the university was investigating Mr. Raymond for two new, unspecified complaints. Mr. Raymond’s lawyer said his client denies all of the accusations that prompted his termination, and wants to clear his name and be reinstated.
A San Francisco State University professor has drawn scrutiny for a class assignment in which he asked students to come up with a political-campaign advertisement that he suggested he might use if he runs for office again, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.
Joe Tuman, who is chair of the university’s communication-studies department, lost his 2010 bid to become mayor of Oakland, Calif. He is considering running for office again, and gave students the assignment with an option to create an advertisement for a real candidate, such as himself. Political observers told the newspaper that Mr. Tuman’s assignment raised ethical questions, though a San Francisco State spokeswoman told the newspaper that the project didn’t appear to violate any of the institution’s policies.
Mr. Tuman told the newspaper that he had no intention of using his students’ work in a potential campaign, and said he had made the suggestion that he might do so sarcastically. He said he had offered a real example of a political advertisement to make the assignment easier for some students, particularly foreign students and those who speak English as a second language.
Eric Banks, a writer and critic based in New York who has written for The Chronicle Review and is a former editor of Bookforum, will be appointed the next director of the New York Institute for the Humanities at New York University. Mr. Banks will go to the institute after a term as president of the National Book Critics Circle. His appointment was announced to the institute’s fellows in an e-mail on Monday. He will assume the post in July, succeeding Lawrence M. Weschler, who had led the illustrious scholarly institute since 2001.